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Security Consultant Says Nigeria’s Military Needs More Funding

Nigeria is facing security upheavals and Security Consultant, Rtd. Commodore Abimbola Ayuba says the military needs more funding.

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As insurgency keeps making its way back to Nigeria, a security consultant and former military personnel, Retired Commodore Abimbola Ayuba has said more funding is key to defeating the insurgents.

Nigeria has been facing terrorism for the past 11 years, with more than 30,000 people killed and close to 3 million people displaced in the Northeast of the country.

Featuring in Village Square Africa on News Central Television, Rtd. Commodore Ayuba said the Nigerian military needs sophisticated vehicles and weapons to overcome the challenges of the topography of the northeast.

Citing the dry season as one of the reasons for the rise in terrorism activities in the region, he said Nigeria should pay more attention to events in the northeast, as that’s capable of unsettling the entire country.

“The military, even though the budget has increased considerably in the last five years, does not have enough, when compared with other issues and areas of national development,” he said.

“In reality, if you have a case like we have, in the Northeast, there’s need to take funding off budget for managing the crisis. Some of the dilemma that are causing the funding issue is that we are not clear if we are fighting a war or an internal crisis or insurgency. Until we are able to define that, then other aspects like construction, road projects should be put into the war economy.

“Some parts of Nigeria have continued like the war does not concern them and that’s wrong. The whole country must reach a consensus that we need to concentrate on the Northeast, probably the Northwest and then later, the North-central.”

Mr. Ayuba added that Nigeria may need to call on mercenaries for support as the country should be looking to do anything to achieve victory over terror at the point.

On the role of traditional rulers in the multifaceted battle against terror, he said the roles of the rulers have been relegated and that has not helped the cause of the military. He, however, said they are being approached again in recent time because of their understanding of the terrain and the security architecture they own as traditional leaders.

Citing the presence of Agro-Rangers as the reason for the return of some farmers to their farmlands, he said the military has to be clearer in its declaration of liberation in some locations, as the terrorists still persist even after such announcements.

On his part, Lanre Suraj, an African Affairs Analyst said Nigeria is enmeshed in the celebration of political moves, that has seen the President getting a summon from the National Assembly. He said he doesn’t think that will work as the President may not appear and that may be the news. He added that the fight against terror should not be tokenised by politics as the call for the sack of service chiefs may be from the potential beneficiaries of such eventuality.

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Nigeria Ports Authority Commences Electronic Call Up System

The NPA also stated that about 7000 trucks have been certified fit for the proposed digitalised call up system. Henceforth, in order to access the ports, trucks must approach the ports from a holding bay or truck parks with a bar code.

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As part of efforts aimed at finding a permanent solution to truck congestion around Apapa and its environs, the Nigerian Ports Authority has commenced the Electronic Truck call-up system designed for the management of truck movement and access to and from the Lagos Ports Complex and the Tin Can Island Ports, Apapa, Lagos.

With effect from today 27th February 2021, the ETO app will be responsible for the scheduling, entry and exit of all trucks into the ports.

According to the NPA, about 7000 trucks have been certified fit for the proposed digitalised call up system.

Henceforth, in order to access the ports, trucks must approach the ports from a holding bay or truck parks with a bar code.

Players in the maritime sector have expressed optimism toward the commencement of the electronic call-up system, saying it will improve access and reduce corruption.

One of the executives of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Alhaji Abdullahi Inuwa said the call-up system will put an end to artificial bottlenecks on the port access road.

Speaking further, the National Vice president, Association of Nigerian Liscenced Customs Agents (ANLCA), Kayode Farinto asked the NPA management to be steadfast in enforcing the call-up system.

Farinto said the ongoing repairs on the Oshodi-Apapa expressway must also be completed in good time for the call-up system to be effective.

“The road should be put in adequate place because there is nothing the call-up can achieve without a proper port access road.” he said.

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Zamfara, Kano States Close Schools After Schoolgirls Abduction

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Following the abduction of more than 300 school girls from the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, in Talata-Mafara Local Government Area, the Zamfara State government has ordered the closure of all boarding schools in the state.

In the same vein, the Kano State government has closed down twelve schools in reaction to the rise in abductions in the region.

Zamfara State Governor Matawalle, in a broadcast on Friday evening expressed his sympathies with the affected families and said he’s in communication with security agencies to secure the release of the students.

He said helicopters have been deployed to help the rescue mission, while he appealed to the parents of the abducted girls to be more patient.

Matawalle said the disarmament operation going on in the state will continue as the continuous availability of weapons to rogues makes security more challenging to achieve.

Nigeria has recorded the abduction of more than 1,000 students since 2014, with two major abductions of school pupils already recorded in February 2021.

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Togo Bribe Scandal: French Group Fined $14.55M, Industrialist on Trial

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Vincent Bollore, a French industrialist, businessman, media owner and billionaire, will go on trial over bribery allegations involving a Togolese official, a court in Paris has ruled.

Also, the court fined the Bollore Group $14.55 million over the case, which involves the bribing of an official in Togo to win a contract to run the port of Lomé a decade ago.

Bolloré, Gilles Alix, managing director of the Bolloré group and Jean-Philippe Dorent, international director of the Havas agency, a subsidiary of Bolloré, had accepted an appearance on prior admission of guilt (CRPC, a sort of “plead guilty” at the French) and the payment of a fine of $450,000.

However, the judge in Paris ruled that the corruption trial of a leading French industrialist should go ahead, despite his guilty plea.

The court decided that the case against Bolloré was so serious that it should not be settled, as agreed with prosecutors, with a $450,000 fine.

Jean-François Bohnert, in a statement on Friday, said Bollore Group will pay a 12 million-euro ($14.55 million) fine following a transaction with prosecutors in the alleged bribery case.

The transaction effectively puts an end to the legal proceedings in the case against the conglomerate.

“The investigation had concerned the corruption of foreign public officials, abuse of trust and complicity in breaches of trust committed between 2009 and 2011,” the financial prosecutor said.

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